How to fix iPhone 4 signal issues with simple device, plus free bonus feature

If you're disappointed by the reception problems on the new iPhone, why not allow CNET Industries to talk you through our adaptor assembly guide? It's free!

Ian Morris
3 min read

It's iPhone launch day, but all is not perfect in Appleland -- there seems to be serious issues with signal quality. The problem, it appears, stems from the way Apple has arranged the antennas around the metal surface. Radio waves are blocked by the hand holding the phone, which could result in dropped calls and slow data downloads.

We're always focused on helping our readers here at CNET UK -- not only to choose the right device, but also to get the best out of it. To help iPhone 4 owners, we've developed a highly technical solution that most people should be able to deploy themselves. It totally fixes all problems with signal strength and has been tested fully.

You will need:

1 roll of gaffer tape, or similar strong adhesive tape.
3 old business cards -- you could use current business cards, if you feel flush
1 pair of scissors
1 iPhone 4. Note that older iPhones don't need this adaptor, but it will work with them


1) Take your iPhone 4. Clean its surfaces so gaffer or similar tape will adhere.

2) Cut a strip of gaffer tape long enough to stretch around the phone. This tape will eventually need to attach over the earpiece at the top, and the button at the bottom, so make sure it's long enough. Don't panic: the adaptor will be modified later to give access to the front camera, earpiece and button. All other buttons are unaffected.

3) Place a business card on the back of the iPhone as pictured, fold the overlap upwards, towards where your face is. Underneath this, make sure there's another piece of gaffer tape, with its sticky side facing upwards. You will have a 'cross' shape of gaffer tape, and two business cards. 

4) Take the tape, with card attached, and secure it around the phone. This will keep the other card and tape in place. This securing tape should sit over the business card with its edges folded upward. This forms a non-sticky contact point that will form part of the handle on the finished adaptor.

5) Now take another business card. Place it in the middle of the tape that has its sticky side facing upwards towards the heavens. Then take a final business card, and fold it in two. Place this folded card on the back of your iPhone so that it forms a ridge. Then use the loose gaffer tape to secure it.

 6) The adaptor is now in place. You'll notice, however, the earpiece, button and front and back cameras are now covered in gaffer tape. The next stage is to make holes in the correct places for these items to be made accessible.

Use scissors to do this. Be careful: scissors are sharp and can cause death or serious injury. Never run with scissors. CNET UK cannot be held responsible for death or serious injury that arises from the use of scissors while making this adaptor, or at any other time. 

 7) The last step is simple: enjoy! You've fixed a fault in 5 minutes that a multi-billion dollar corporation somehow managed to miss during all of its pub-based testing. As your hand no longer comes into direct contact with the metal surface of the phone, you will have no signal problems at all. Guaranteed. Congratulations, you rock.

7a) Note, for increased performance, you can buy the patented 'CNET UK iPhone 4 super-reception carry stick' (pictured below). This gives even better performance* than the manual version. To order, send your bank account number and sort code to: iPhone 4 super-reception carry stick, CNET UK, 5-11 Lavington Street, London. We'll take the correct sum of money directly.

*Not tested by scientists or using any science.

8) Notice that not only have you fixed your iPhone's reception, you've also created a handy stand for watching movies and enjoying other content on the iPhone's glorious, magical screen.